Wednesday, August 30, 2006

When to Drop at Badwater, Crew vs. Runner (Marin Independent Journal)

The decision to drop from a grueling race like the Badwater Ultra isn't as easy as one would think. Rick Polito of the Marin Independent Journal writes an excellent story capturing the challenge and conflict of runner and crew as world-class Masters ultrarunner Mike Sweeney decides to throw in the towel at Mile 100 in the 2006 Badwater Ultra.

(Crew member Wun Yip gives Mike Sweeney a hug; photo courtesy of IJ Photo/Frankie Frost)

My favorite quote:

Sweeney is equally bitter. "If the crew wants to mutiny me, that's OK," he says. "I'll find another crew."... At 90 miles, the edges are worn to sharp relief. The pride, the ego, the emotions, all on display. "It's an opera," Maselli says in aside. "We came to an opera."


You can read the whole article here. I think it's one of the better articles on ultra running I have ever read.

I've met Mike Sweeney and know he's a true champion of the sport. My hat is off to you, Mike, as well as your courageous crew. Congratulations on giving it everything you had that day...there will be other days for sure.

- SD

5 comments:

  1. Right on, Mike and CREW!!! 100 miles is not a failure, not by a longshot. Victory without struggle is no victory worth celebrating. You should feel great about this finish.

    Us ultrarunners are stubborn, no? I wonder which is harder - crew or run.

    Leslie

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  2. I like the quote: "I know I can do stuff that other people wouldn't try because they don't believe they can do it,"

    Brian

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  3. I am struggling to identify the tone or meaning of this article, but I know it is not about a victory (as Leslie says in her post). It isn't even about a finish. Anyone that thinks Mike is excited about this years Badwater is way off base in my opinion. He came to win and anything less than that was a failure in his mind. Folks, it is okay to say that a race was a failure without putting a "feel good" spin on it.

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  4. Is this a typical crew/runner exchange? My God, I had no idea it had so much conflict! Can't we all just get along? *^D

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  5. As the author of the article, I encourage everybody to go to www.marinij.com/badwater and read the entire package. There are three installments (you have to sort of read them from the bottom up as they are listed). This is the narrative of one man's experience in the race. Yes, he was disappointed. Read the article.

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